The imported fashion of beginning breakfast with fresh fruit has become an American custom. The assuasive effect of the generous juices upon the coat of the stomach, usually clogged at early morning with a mucous deposit, is a wholesome preparation for digestive processes - a "toner" to just-awakened energies. To commit suddenly to the long-suffering stomach, as yet inert, and but dimly aware of what is expected of it, a "feed" of beefsteak, potatoes and hot breads, is always an unwelcome surprise. Sometimes the abused organ turns with the proverbial blind wrath of the patient, and revenges itself, if not speedily, surely and fiercely. It would fain be awakened kindly and gently. To this end, stay it with oranges, comfort it with apples and grapes.
1. Cut in half, crosswise, and dig out the pulp with a silver or gold orange spoon.
2. They are yet nicer prepared beforehand by running a sharp knife on the inside, close to the rind, thus severing the membranes that divide the lobes. Take these membranes out carefully, leaving the pulp in the two cups of the halved orange. It can be then eaten as easily as a custard could be. Set on ice until you are ready to serve.
3. Peel the oranges; separate the lobes and cut each into three pieces. Serve in a chilled glass dish, passing powdered sugar for those who like it.
Breakfast fruits are far more wholesome when eaten without sugar.
Keep them on ice for an hour before sending to table, even in winter, and scatter cracked ice over and among them. This has the double advantage of cooling and of cleansing them. Pass grape scissors with the dish of fruit.
Wash and dry pears and apples with a soft cloth. Have a silver fruit knife at each plate, and let the eaters pare the fruit for themselves. Peaches should be left with the fur (and bloom) on.
These should never in any circumstances be sugared in the dish. Let each person sweeten his portion for himself, after which they should be eaten immediately, before the sugar has time to draw out the juice and thereby wither the berries.
Strawberries should be eaten at breakfast with the caps on. Choose the finest fruit for this meal, using the stem as a handle, and dipping the berry into powdered sugar, if not sweet enough to be eaten without.
Never wash these, or strawberries, unless they are intolerably gritty. Water is ruin to flavor and integrity, where the more delicate berries are concerned. Set on ice for an hour or more before sending to table. Pass sugar for those who wish it, and in helping out each portion avoid bruising the berries. "Mashed" berries suffer an instant change in flavor. The air begins at once to act chemically upon the liberated juices.
Wash, drain and leave on ice for two hours. Pass sugar with huckleberries for such as wish it. They are better without at breakfast. Gooseberries are always eaten without. The large English varieties are delicious and very healthful.
If cream be eaten with breakfast fruit, it should be as an after-course - or dessert. It loses character and effect as an assuasive and persuasive agent.